Carmelo Anthony said he wants to stay in New York, and said he wants to win.
It will be up to Phil Jackson to convince him that he can do both.
With the Knicks’ season over and Anthony missing the playoffs for the first time in his career, he can begin thinking about his future. He plans to become a free agent in July and wants to be someplace where he can compete for championships.
The Knicks never came close this season, going 37-45. Anthony said it was a “failure” and an “embarrassment” that he’s unwilling to go through again, which could force him to look elsewhere since New York will have trouble changing its roster next season.
“I want to come back. I also want to win. Me wanting to be here, if we can put ourselves in position to at least compete at a high level over the course of whatever, five years, the contract would be, then I’m willing to stay here,” Anthony said Thursday while wearing a red hat with the letters “NY” at the Knicks’ training center.
He met with Jackson, who took over as team president in March and has said he could envision Anthony as a central piece of the Knicks’ future. Less clear is what he thinks about Coach Mike Woodson, who received a strong endorsement from the Knicks’ leading scorer.
“To be honest with you, Mike Woodson, me and him have become, he’s been a guy I can talk to,” Anthony said. “He’s been almost a father figure, a friend, a guy who I can bounce stuff off of. I’ve been a guy he’s talked to multiple times about multiple things, different situations. So when that time comes, if it’s ready for me to step up and take that next step and say, ‘OK, Mike Woodson needs to stay or go’ — I don’t think it would come down to that — but I’ll back him. If he needs my recommendation, whether it’s here or anywhere else, I’ll back him.”
Bynum out of first round
Indiana won’t have Andrew Bynum for its first-round series against Atlanta.
Coach Frank Vogel said that he believes the Pacers’ oft-injured center could still work his way back for the playoffs. But he won’t be available for the first round, which opens Saturday in Indianapolis.
The Pacers signed Bynum as a free agent in early February with hope he would add depth behind All-Star center Roy Hibbert. He looked good in his Pacers debut, finishing with eight points and 10 rebounds. But Bynum hasn’t played since March 15 because of a sore right knee.
James has top-selling jersey
LeBron James still has the NBA’s best-selling jersey.
The Miami Heat star topped the list of most popular jerseys this season, and it’s the sixth time he’s had that distinction. With James at No. 1 and teammate Dwyane Wade at No. 7, the Heat also had the top spot on the team-merchandise list.
Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City is No. 2 on the league list, followed by the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and New York’s Anthony.